Monday, August 8, 2011

U2 and Pittsburgh!

On July 26th, my kids and I went to the U2360 concert in Pittsburgh, PA.  We had looked forward to this concert for 1-1/2 years.  We were not disappointed!  We had tickets to go last year, but 2010 was the year for emergency back surgeries. (Bono's, and mine.... Pitiful how I try to find that common ground with a rock star, eh?)  

The last time I went to a U2 concert was on an autumn night in 1987 at the old Cleveland Stadium. Four Irish lads creating rock as only they can, including everything from Party Girl to Gloria, with Bono's soaring, soulful praise:
In te domine
Oh, Lord, loosen my lips.
Yep, I was hooked, big time, and long before most of America knew who they were. I've been a fan since 1985 when a college boyfriend gave me some of their early music on cassette. The band has often made me dream of going back to Ireland to maybe dance along its southern coast again (like in 1986), or meet with some friends for a Guinness, endless talk, and a few songs.  Maybe wander about the countryside taking photos, capturing stories.  Ireland is soulful, misty and mystical.   It has a rich history as a nation of scholars, and is one of the first (some say the first) to produce literature in the vernacular.  (See   Some good-looking Irishmen, great beer, good music, and great reads?  I'm there least in my mind.

Anyway, while healing from my own back surgery and looking forward to the show, I started reading more about the band, paying particular attention to the interplay between band members and their creative process.  It seems they are successful because they have faith in themselves, each other and their art; they check their individuals egos at the door; and they are committed to each other and to the process.  A process that includes, as Andrew Robinson relates, "spend[ing] days in the studio slogging through various soundscapes. Most days are long, tiring, and frustrating. It is common for the four band members to end the day with absolutely nothing to show for it. But if they remain committed to this arduous, mundane process long enough something brilliant begins to emerge." (Quote in larger context, here.  Robinson's quote is part of his larger discussion of the documentary film It Might Get Loud and the creative process in general. )  In other words, they're just like most of us - they have to work hard to get somewhere.  Still.  Writer's block?  Write through it. (I'm talking to myself, here.) 

I find the description above awfully close to one of my favorite quotes, Commit to the process; detach from the outcome.  In music, writing, painting, whatever it is you like to do, just do it, and tell your internal critic to shut up. It's not all going to be good.  But do it because you must.  Do it because it's in your DNA. Do it for the joy that comes from using and sharing God-given gifts. U2's art is often based on conversations with God.  And joy seems to ooze from their pores when they play.
The view of Pittsburgh from our Heinz Stadium seats.

Spaceship has landed!  Gorgeous.


Elisa said...

Inspirational post! Thanks for the reminder about quieting the inner critic... Brilliant photos! Glad you had a good time. :)

Pat Washington said...

Thanks, Elisa. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron has really helped me break up the creative log jam. Now my challenge has been to carve out consistent time for shooting and writing.